reviews, travel

Final Review: 2019 Sapphire Princess Asia Cruise

This was my fourth cruise with Princess.

There was a much wider mix of ages onboard, from small children to the quite mature, compared to my prior cruise to the South Pacific (where, in my forties at the time, I was easily the youngest person on board).

The service was, as usual, very good.

The ship was not the newest in the fleet, but it was not showing its age. And for the holidays, they had made it very festive.

The itinerary hit 5 countries I might otherwise not have gotten to, and an annular eclipse, which is what sold me on pitching the additional time out of the office to my boss.

As usual, my big onboard spend was on excursions. I have no regrets for any of them – I am glad I went and saw what I did. But in general, we were docked in shipping ports rather than cruise ports (in at least a few cases, because that’s all there is, in others because that’s where Princess was able to dock us), which meant that there were a lot of long bus rides and rushed stops.

The food was generally good. Not that much variation in the menus, but everything was generally tasty (and further improved by the company I shared it with – your mileage may vary). The service – again – was excellent.

The shows were – okay. Well, the opera-themed show Bravo! was really enjoyable (note: not an opera person, but still thoroughly enjoyed). There was a lounge singer who was kind of fun. There was a terrible comedienne, and for some reason I cannot fathom, a featured violinist. Ok, I don’t mind a little ambiant violin, but this was a bit much. Toward the end of the cruise, it seemed that they were relying more on the nostalgia of the older audience members vs the strength of the productions or talent to carry the shows.

There were a lot of other onboard activities to participate in, and they were as varied as the audience – a little something for everyone. Exercise sessions, dance parties, musical interludes, game shows, a little visit from Santa for the kids. As usual, I did not make it to a Movies Under the Stars showing. Another cruise, perhaps. 🙂

Because there WILL be another cruise, God willing.

I will happily sail with Princess again – when schedules, offers and itineraries align.